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Posted: Thursday, 31 July 2014 7:44AM

Soccer in the Superdome? It would be a first

Would you go see an international soccer game in the Superdome? 

Local leaders are hoping that the recent popularity of the World Cup competition will mean success for soccer in the Crescent City.

It was about a month ago that big crowds were gathering in New Orleans to watch soccer on TV.

"Every restaurant and bar was filled with everyone cheering," Dome Board Chairman Ron Forman said.  "I think that's carrying down deeper."

Mercedes-Benz Superdome General Manager Alan Freeman says they have bid for a Gold Cup double header next summer, noting it is an experiment of sorts.

"This will be a first for us," Freeman told WWL First News.  "Soccer is pretty popular on a grass roots level.  A lot of youngsters play soccer, but it hasn't shown that it's really viable as a far as a major spectator sport (in New Orleans.)"

He says, however, Gold Cup officials invited them to bid.

"If we are successful, and we'll know in November, it will be a doubleheader in July of next year," according to Freeman.

Foreman says if it happens, fans will see some top level competition.

"It will be high quality, first class," the board chairman said.

Freeman notes that it will mean some unusual accommodations in the Dome.

"They require that the game be played in natural grass," he explained. "So, if we get it, we'll spend three or four days prior to the game day putting natural grass down."

He says they would immediately pull up the grass after the games.

The last time there was a game on natural grass in the Superdome was in the late 90's when the Saints played a preseason game on grass they brought into the building.

Filed Under :  
Topics : Sports
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Locations : Crescent CityNew Orleans
People : Alan FreemanMercedes-Benz SuperdomeRon Forman
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